• Monday, Mar 27, 2023
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

'Food is the best vaccine against chaos'

  • Published at 03:30 pm October 9th, 2020
World Food Programme (WFP)
File photo: Workers carry the aid provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) for distribution, in Pissila, Burkina Faso on January 24, 2020 Reuters

The Rome-based organization says it helps some 97 million people in about 88 countries each year

The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its efforts to combat hunger around the world and improve conditions for peace in areas affected by conflict.

The Rome-based organization says it helps some 97 million people in about 88 countries each year, and that one in nine people worldwide still do not have enough to eat.

"The need for international solidarity and multilateral cooperation is more conspicuous than ever," Berit Reiss-Andersen, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told a news conference.

She called the WFP a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, and said the Covid-19 pandemic, which the WFP says could double hunger worldwide, had made it even more relevant.

"Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos," the Nobel committee said in its citation.

"There is an estimate within the World Food Programme that ... there will be 265 million starving people within a year, so of course this is also a call to the international community not to underfund the World Food Programme."

WFP runs a logistics service that has dispatched medical cargoes to over 120 countries throughout the pandemic to help governments and health partners fighting Covid-19.

It also has provided passenger services to ferry humanitarian and health workers where commercial flights were unavailable.

"At a time when we are living through a global pandemic, the need for food, humanitarian help has intensified," Reiss-Andersen told Reuters.

'Wow! Wow! Wow!'

WFP Executive Director David Beasley, travelling in Niger, posted a video statement on social media.

"It's because of the WFP family," he said. "They are out there in the most difficult, complex places in the world, where there's war, conflict, climate extremes – it doesn't matter. They are out there and they deserve this award.

"This is the first time I've been speechless ... This is unbelievable," he said. "And wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!"

In a written statement, he added: "Today is a reminder that food security, peace and stability go together. Without peace, we cannot achieve our global goal of zero hunger; and while there is hunger, we will never have a peaceful world."

In Geneva, WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri told reporters:

"When everything went into shutdown mode, the World Food Programme was there. When everyone was leaving and we were going into lockdowns, the World Food Programme had to provide the logistical support that the world deserved, that the world needed."

At one point at the height of the pandemic, as airlines were cutting back flights, the WFP was running the largest operational airline in the world, he said.

Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said the Norwegian Nobel Committee had wanted to send a message of both hope and "support for international cooperation".

"Hunger, like climate change, the pandemic and other issues, is a world problem that can only be properly addressed through cooperation," he told Reuters.

"Unfortunately, in too many quarters, especially among the great powers, there is a declining appetite for cooperation.

He noted that, after declining for several decades, world hunger had been on the rise again since 2016.

The United Nations, which turns 75 this month, has itself won the Nobel Peace Prize in the past, as have several of its agencies, including the High Commissioner for Refugees, the Unicef children's fund and its peacekeeping forces.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail